A fishmonger has been sentenced to death for murdering two “exceptional young” British medical students who had been working in a Malaysian hospital.
Newcastle University students Aidan Brunger, from Kent, and Neil Dalton, from Ambergate in Derbyshire, were killed in the unprovoked attack in Sarawak on the island of Borneo in August last year.
The country’s high court heard during the trial that, before killing the two men, Zulkipli Abdullah, 23, had said he wanted to “test his strength” against bigger and taller foreigners. The prosecutor also said that, after he stabbed the pair, he sniffed the blood on his hands and claimed it smelled nice.
Zulkipli had denied stabbing them but the court ruled that his defence was merely an afterthought, with the attack outside a café in the early hours being entirely unprovoked. The victims, who were both 22, had been working at a local hospital in Kuching – an area popular with backpackers.
Following the verdict, their parents put out a joint statement paying tribute to their sons and spoke of the devastation they have felt since their deaths.
They said: “They were two exceptional young men with such promise – kind, funny and full of life.”